What is in this article?:
- Keeping an eye on the Air
- Cost savings
A new, turnkey system lets manufacturers improve the energy efficiency of pneumatically powered equipment.
Every potential user has one essential question: How much will this package save in my production plant? Here’s an example to show the potential cost savings. Compressed-air losses depend on the pressure and size of the leak path. Let’s assume a production line has 20 leaks of 0.5 mm (0.019 in.) diameter at 6 bar (87 psi), 20 leaks of 1 mm (0.039 in.) at 6 bar (87 psi), and 10 leaks of 2 mm (0.078 in.) at 7 bar (101.5 psi). In reality, conditions are usually much worse, even though plant operators are generally unaware of the losses.
If the plant runs for 6000 hours annually with an electric rate of $0.07/kWh and compressed-air generation requirement of approximately 18 kW/100 cfm, then we can calculate the potential cost savings as follows.
Potential cost savings = number of leaks flow rate (scfm) kW/(scfm) operating hours/year $/kWh.
Cost savings from 0.019-in. leaks = 20 0.49 0.18 6000 0.07 = $740.
Cost savings from 0.039-in. leaks = 20 1.98 0.18 6000 0.07 = $2993.
Cost savings from 0.078-in. leaks = 10 9.24 0.18 6000 0.07 = $6985.
Thus total annual savings from eliminating these leaks is $10,718. Note that this example concentrates only on energy costs and does not consider that leakage and pressure losses usually slow down machines and overall production. It also does not account for downtime caused by failures which could be prevented by early leak detection.
The energy monitoring package has no impact on automation processes, making it easy to integrate into an existing machine. It lends itself especially to evaluating air consumption for different operations, checking the health of pneumatic systems, finding the optimal operating point of a machine, preventive maintenance, and central or decentralized monitoring of air consumption.
The GFDM package is available as a kit or fully functional control cabinet, and also for periodic leasing for condition monitoring. The system helps users optimize compressed-air use at the point of consumption, and develop an efficient maintenance plan which will ensure a considerable return on investment and longer machine life. Data from various projects show that cost recovery for implementing the energy monitoring package would be well within one year.